Sunday 23 June 2013

Tasted #27: Karuizawa 12yo (original bottling)

Since following Nonjatta (which I see as the quintessential resource for Japanese whisky) and learning about Karuizawa, I've been wanting to try it. Like Islay's Port Ellen (but in Japan), Karuizawa is a mothballed distillery selling old stock, often 25+ years old and sometimes for hundreds if not thousands per bottle.  Unlike Port Ellen though, there are some younger releases available for a reasonable price.

I was keen to try an Original Bottling / standard distillery release (there are many examples of rare Karuizawas released for shops/bars/specific occasions etc..) so when I saw a 12yo OB on the menu at The Auld Alliance in Singapore (see link for my review), I ordered it straight away.

So, what did I think of this "Port Ellen of the East"?

Karuizawa 12yo (40% ABV, 12yo, Original Bottling, Japan)

Nose: Sweet, but not a huge sherry hit. Lots of figs.

Palate: Fresh, smooth, but with a youthful tang that gives this away as a  (relatively) young whisky. If I had to give it a style, I'd call it a lighter, "aperitif" whisky.

Finish: Medium length with fresh fruits (and those figs) coming back in waves.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 89/100. A nice whisky, but I wouldn't rush out for a bottle.

 - Martin.

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